THE ambitions of Moises Henriques to make a play for the potentially vacant Australian all-rounder's spot have hit a roadblock in the form of finger injury that is likely to rule him out of Friday night's one-day international at the Gabba.
Henriques, 25, was struck on the hand during training in the practice nets in Brisbane on Thursday. He was later cleared of a broken finger but soreness and swelling could still have him sidelined. Should he be scratched from the match, the third ODI of the series against Sri Lanka, he would be replaced by either Ben Cutting or Glenn Maxwell.
''Fingers crossed he is fully fit and available for selection for tomorrow,'' skipper Michael Clarke, said.
Henriques had been called up to play his first ODI in more than three years, and with it comes the opportunity to mount a case not only to be a limited-overs all-rounder but at Test level. The fact that Shane Watson is considering quitting bowling, or at least tempering that part of his game, has opened up a potential position for another multiskilled cricketer in the vein of Henriques. ''I know he's looking forward to his opportunity, that's for sure,'' Clarke said.
Cutting's selection would provide a further complication, as the Queensland quick is due to fly to Perth on Friday to play for Brisbane Heat in the Big Bash League final against the Scorchers on Saturday.
''If Cuttsy does play tomorrow, I'm not sure how that will work either in regards to the Big Bash final,'' Clarke said. It is understood Cutting will not be able to play both games because of the logistical difficulties of getting to Perth so quickly. Clarke, returning from a two-match rest to improve a strained hamstring, will bat at No.3, with Phillip Hughes and David Warner to open. Warner and wicketkeeper Matthew Wade are also back from two matches off. The five-match series is 1-1.
Australia (likely): Phillip Hughes, David Warner, Michael Clarke (c), George Bailey, David Hussey,
Matthew Wade, Ben Cutting, Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc, Clint McKay, Xavier Doherty.
Sri Lanka (likely): Upul Tharanga, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Lahiru Thirimanne, Mahela Jayawardene (c), Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal, Jeevan Mendis, Thisara Perera, Nuwan Kulasekara, Lasith Malinga, Ajantha Mendis.